What would you do if you had to choose one family member over another?

I’ll preface by disclosing that I am not approaching this article in pursuit of creating a well-constructed piece of writing that is held in high esteem. Instead, I seek to share an experience from yesterday unlike any other I have had in my life. It caused a visceral response in me that was surprising, to say the least. So I will write as I speak, and I hope you will still join me on this journey.

A bit of background.

Many readers have met Popcorn and Eli in 9 Indications that Your Parrot May Own You. …


We have more choice in how we feel than we think we do.

An empty toilet paper roll with post-it with 2020. to its right: a new roll with a post-it with 2021
An empty toilet paper roll with post-it with 2020. to its right: a new roll with a post-it with 2021
© ResiLente

I’ve yet to hear a single person say that 2020 was even a slightly decent year. Frankly, it was horrific on a global scale, and it was not just COVID-19 that made it so brutal. We had a superabundance of death, illness, violence, political unrest, and natural disasters globally.

We started last year with the carryover of the Australian bush fires that caused the death of about half a billion animals. Throughout the twelve months, there were natural disasters across the globe, displacing and injuring countless people. The Taal Volcano eruption in the Philippines, Typhoon Haishen impacted Japan and South and North Korea, Hurricane Laura on the Louisiana and Texas coasts with 150 mph winds (the highest since 1856), and the 7.5-magnitude earthquake in Oaxaca are just four of those natural events. …


Image for post
Image for post
© 9dreamstudio

The best artists in any medium read on a regular basis. The strongest writers take in arts and music as well as literature. Art comes in infinite forms and combinations. We can be influenced in capacities we’d never expect, and these seven songs are examples of when a musical artist was inspired by the written word of another person. Enjoy.

Song: “7" by Prince & the New Power Generation [Lyrics]
Book: “The Book of Revelations” from the Holy Bible

While Prince’s music has always left plenty of room for interpretation, the meaning behind the song “7” off of the 1992…


L: yellow parrot w/ bright red beak crouches under wood perch. R: grey bird w/ gold eye & black beak on turquoise sheet
L: yellow parrot w/ bright red beak crouches under wood perch. R: grey bird w/ gold eye & black beak on turquoise sheet
Popcorn (left), 9-year-old Indian Ringneck female, and Eli (right) 5-year-old Congo African Grey male ©laurenbellerwrites

If you are familiar with companion birds of any species, then you will most likely recognize the common signs of the reversed power-dynamic between “owner” and avian. Disconcerting at first as it may be, please trust that one day you too will just give up and surrender to the inevitable.

I “own” two bundles of feathery joy who have made my status very clear to me. (I’m below them, but they’ve been compassionate enough to give me command of the fish.) …


Image for post
Image for post
Photo Credit

Why it is important to talk to your disabled child?

Children with special needs are all very different. We know this. But every single parent reading this surely shares similar long-term goals for their child; they want them to succeed. This is true regardless of whether their kid has a disability or not. Success is defined differently for every child based on his or her strengths and needs, desires and dislikes. ‘Julie’ may wish to see her son grow up to be an autonomous, employed, and completely independent member of his community. ‘Peter’ may hope for his daughter to be…


Image for post
Image for post
Image Credit OpenClipart-Vectors / Pixabay

Some say that Queen Cleopatra was the inventor of the world’s very first vibrator. The legend goes that she took a gourd, or in some retellings a papyrus box, and hollowed it out. She then filled the container with live honey bees to create her very own pleasure machine. But how accurate is this tale? Can we believe that no one had used sex toys until 54 BCE?

Historians describe Cleopatra as a powerfully, even dangerously sexual woman. The Greeks called her “Meriochane,” which means “she who gapes wide for 10,000 men.” …


Two teens sit on wooden bench side-by-side with backs to camera looking at a field of trees and sun shining through.
Two teens sit on wooden bench side-by-side with backs to camera looking at a field of trees and sun shining through.

All parents struggle with discussing topics surrounding sex with their adolescent children, regardless of whether the child has a disability. It is terrifying to consider the risks your young adult is taking on by becoming more mature. Puberty and young adulthood is such a time of pride for parents. Conversely, it is full of such turmoil and worry; parents will always see their children as their babies and have concern for their safety. This already frightening and confusing time only becomes more complicated by the addition of intellectual disability. …


Image for post
Image for post

What Is Inspiration Porn?

You know that grossly saccharine quote from Scott Hamilton? “The only disability in life is a bad attitude.” You probably saw it on countless posters in school hallways growing up. There was always an adorable child with a visible disability, grinning ear to ear, often with Down’s Syndrome or missing limbs. If not, they used a wheelchair. If it didn’t have this particular caption, it likely said one of several other barf-worthy clichés such as “What’s your excuse?” or “Your excuse is invalid.” If you have seen any such imaging, then you have been exposed to inspiration porn.

Now with…


Image for post
Image for post

Humans are somehow so complicated that we can’t understand one another. Yet, we also experience such powerful moments that remind us how similar we all are. It is all in how you look at a situation and the exposure you have had to similar positions that impact how we view one another and our shared world. Learning about each other’s unique and often identical perspectives and experiences can and will change the way we see the world and interact with one another. There are countless ways to connect to one another, but my favorite is always books. …

Lauren Beller

Person. Berd Nerd. Kinky Perv. Disability Advocate. Freelance Writer. Philly Sports Fan. Reader. Much much more than can be summed up here. laurenbeller.com

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store